Workers unearth Tipu-British era cannon in Bangalore

SURPRISE DISCOVERY: T.M. Keshava, Deputy Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, examines the cannon and the cannon ball found at the metro worksite. Photo: Harsha Padyana

Underground excavation before Victoria Hospital turns up medium rang weaponry

Workers involved in excavating earth at the City Market underground metro site were in for a surprise on Thursday morning when they discovered a cannon and a solitary cannonball, believed to be from the 18th Century Tipu-British era. The construction site falls between Tipu Sultan’s summer palace and the Bangalore Fort.
The iron cannon, 12 feet long, is estimated to be weigh between 1.5 tonnes to 2 tonnes. The cannonball is made of stone. They were found at a depth of around 4 metres from the ground in front of Victoria Hospital in Kalasipalya. The station work is part of the Namma Metro North-South corridor, being implemented by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL).
Well cast
The discovery of this late medieval cannon brought a team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to the spot.
“It is a nice cannon that is well cast. From the size of it, it could be a medium range, long-barrelled cannon (the range is decided on the length of muzzle) with a range between 500 and 1,000 metres,” ASI Deputy Superintending Archaeologist T.M. Keshava told The Hindu. Details of its make and location of manufacture are currently not visible as is encrusted with mud and clay.
It is also not clear right now if it was ever fired.
Artillery such as this was normally part of fortification and is placed on specifically built bastion. These are also a part of the defence system, he said, and many such cannons could be found in Karnataka forts.

Mr. Keshava said: “Under the Treasure Trove act, anything found below the ground is the property of the state. Hence, the government will decide whether the cannon will be kept in a museum or not.”


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